Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Shia Islam emerged within a few decades after the death of Muhammad. Originally the split concerned disputes over who should succeed the Prophet as the guide of the Ummah, the Islamic community. However, these disputes have given the Shiites a distinctive theological outlook and unique rituals that most Sunni Muslims would condemn as bizarre or even idolatrous.
Pinault focuses on the rituals of matam that take place during Muharram every year. Muharram is a time of remembrance for Shiiite Muslims, remembrance of the death of Husayn (Ali's son) at Karbala in 680. Husayn, they believe, was the rightful guide of the ummah after Ali's death, but Husayn was killed by the man Sunnis believe was the rightful caliph. Shi'a Muslims view this death as a martyrdom, and use Muharram as a time to reenact that martyrdom and demonstrate their devotion to both Husayn and the family of Muhammad in general.
I won't post photos of the rituals. To an outsider they are gruesome. Some are calm, such as women and older men chanting devotional songs while beating their chests in sorrow and simulation of martyrdom. The more extreme practices involve flailing oneself with razors or sharp metal attached to a chain. Blood flies everywhere.Read more ›